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Sleeping Beauty: 2003 Special Edition vs. 2008 Platinum Edition (6 Viewers)

Chuck Pennington

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Um, so THAT is why they are calling it a "never-before-seen wider version," which means they are showing the full negative aperture rather than what would ever have been projected. Hmmm.... Seems to negate the whole point of widescreen, which is often used to engage people with a wider frame, to present a version that pushes viewers further away from the action, exposing more photographic image area than was ever intended to be seen and was always cropped before intentionally.

What does anyone else think?
 

Michael Fennessy

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I think it looks great too. I do have a question though regarding framing. I understand that some director's shoot their movies with more of an image available then what they ultimately will crop the film to when they project it. Why on earth would a director of an ANIMATED film have people work on artwork that would have no actual chance of being in the picture? Would he/she just say to the animators that the picture should be a certain dimension?
 

Stephen_J_H

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I think you're way off base. Take a look at any widescreen movie from the same period. The compositions are very similar, in that they show off the widescreen format rather than working within the confines of the format. The majority of shots in movies like The Robe were composed in long or medium shots; granted, in the case of The Robe it was to avoid the CinemaScope "mumps", but it was also to show off the sheer size of the CinemaScope screen i.e. "look at everything we can fit into the frame."

Animation of Sleeping Beauty began in 1953 and continued through to 1958. It can be argued, and successfully, that Sleeping Beauty was composed for the 2.55:1 frame, as the majority of showings would have been in that format, but for the modification of CinemaScope to 2.35:1 to accomodate optical soundtracks. There would have been showings in Technirama 70 in limited locations, but most people would see this in CinemaScope which, at the time animation was started, would have been 2.55:1. Whoever the bonehead was that decided to crop the CinemaScope 355mm reduction prints to the confines of the Technirama frame was undoubtedly cut from the same cloth as the rocket scientist who decided to transfer the optical tracks from Fantasia to magnetic over phone lines. Thankfully, the restoration of Sleeping Beauty was a lot simpler than restoring Fantasound.

Finally, the artwork that art director and background artist Eyvind Earle used as his inspiration was composed with much the same aesthetic elements: an extraordinary amount of detail with relatively small elements within the frame. To think that his intention with respect to the to the finished product was otherwise frankly strains the limits of credulity.

Did I mention that sleeping Beauty is my personal favourite of the Disney animated classics?

FWIW, 2.55:1 is not the full negative aperture of Technirama. Being an 8 perf horizontal format shot through a 1.5x squeeze anamorphic lens, the full aperture would have been 2.35:1. Reference here: http://www.widescreenmuseum.com/widescreen/wingtr1.htm
Had Disney gone back to the original elements and printed the full aperture, we probably would have seen unfinished artwork around the edges a la Yellow Submarine open matte, and the A/R would still have been 2.35:1. A transfer like that would have been a travesty.
 

Mark-P

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Mark-P

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Yeah, but the Technirama camera they would have used to photograph the cels would have rendered an aspect ratio of 2.25:1. Are you saying they photographed it with tiny unused bands above and below and then zoomed and cropped the image when optically converting it to 35 and 70mm film prints?
 

RolandL

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Have any of you seen the TV ad for this release? They show what looks like a 1.85:1 frame and a 2.55:1 frame below it. They say something like "For the first time on DVD and Blu-ray, the way Walt Disney intended it to be seen"
 

Lord Dalek

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See the thing about this is 2.55:1 is neither the film's neg ratio (2.25:1) or its intended ratio (2.20:1) so I really don't understand Disney's methodology behind this transfer. It just seems way too cramped on the top and bottom.
 

MatthewA

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I am impressed by the amount of detail gained, but I still don't understand how they would get a 2.55:1 AR out of a 35mm horizontal negative with a 1.5x anamorphic squeeze, assuming that's how it was shot.
 

RolandL

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Your seeing more picture information on all four sides of the new DVD's compared to what was shown at movie theatres.
 

MielR

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Yeah, I saw that the other day. I was surprised- I didn't know that SB was originally shot with a wider aspect ratio.
 

PaulP

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Personally, I like the 2008 framing a lot. It feels "right." But I think I prefer the 2003 colors. So I'm keeping my 2003 edition and definitely getting this new one. Not to mention the old edition still has extras not carried over.
 

MatthewA

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The first two seem similar in color, but the cooking scene in the 2008 screencap has a more rustic, warm look to it. And the colors are richer in the new one. Blacks look deeper.

But what we don't know is if they are the "right" colors. The only way to judge that would be from an IB Tech print which most closely matched the Technicolor timing cards, if they still exist.
 

Chuck Pennington

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I think comparing Disney's animation to that which is seen in YELLOW SUBMARINE is a mistake, in so far as their framing, inking and painting, etc. SLEEPING BEAUTY had a lavish budget and was shot in a new widescreen format, and was going to be issued in different formats and was shot to accommodate all of those. YELLOW SUBMARINE was shot on a low budget in soft-matte. Just because an open-matte version of YS shows where the inking wasn't completed doesn't mean that's the way things worked for EVERY company and project. Oh, and with how much movement there was in Disney's films, wouldn't it just make sense to ink and paint the characters completely rather than worry on the animation stand that something wasn't finished if the framing of a shot was slightly modified from what was planned?

It doesn't look like any REAL information is cropped in the previous LD/DVD releases. Again, the film was composed for 70mm and 35mm CinemaScope extraction, so the framing on any of those would be considered correct. If Disney went back to the original Technirama elements and is now revealing more picture on the sides that was framed to be cropped when magnetic sound was added, then we're seeing too much, much like seeing "more at the top and bottom" in an open-matte transfer would be wrong.

The color choices are another debate, one I'll get into later when I can make screencaps of my own comparing the 1987, 1997, 2003 and 2008 video releases.
 

Christian Preischl

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When you check out the previous DVD release, make sure to compare the "Sleeping Beauty" title card. If I remember correctly the Technirama logo was actually cut off on the bottom on the old release.
 

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